So re-entry is always a thing… And it feels just as big this time.
When leaving the Dallas airport I watched another plane mirror our ascent into the heavens. It is always - always astounding to see see a big metal tube rise higher and higher into the clouds. I must admit, man’s ingenuity, ability to dream and put it into reality is pretty remarkable…
And on the other end of the spectrum is the loss of time and space. I just spent 6 weeks in the mountains of Guatemala in San Marcos La Laguna, a tiny village of 2,200 on the shores of Lake Atitlán. During most of my stay, I had no concept of what day it was nor of the economic crunch that was facing the US. It all felt so far away… and unimportant.
Back in February I found that the universe had cleared my calendar - clean - as nothing I had planned had come to fruition. So I took the blank slate as an opportunity to do something I had put off for years - really dedicate myself to a specific spiritual endeavor. Many times I had heard a friend talk about Las Piramides as she had taken the Moon Course over 10 years ago; I had always been intrigued…
If you go to the web site to find information on the Moon Course, you will find very little information about the nature of the course, the teachers or even the fees. I learned that the founder had no interest in leveraging herself in anyway, but knew that she would be found by the students at the right time. It was my time.
We spent 30 days adhering to a 6 day regimen with a day of rest on Sunday.
10-Noon Metaphysical Class
2-4pm Sunday sauna!!!
3 weeks of class was then followed by a full moon leading us into 5 days of silence and a liquid fast… During silence, we meditated
5x a day with a specific set of questions on which to concentrate. Saying it was an amazing, eye opening experience doesn’t do it justice…. Oh, and one skill that I honed that I never thought I would need was learning how to cut open a coconut with a machete! LOL! During silence we were given coconuts and the sweet water was like desert providing much needed electrolytes!
And yet, this experience was not for the feint of heart. I followed my longings, not my logic and discovered that the rainy season meant just that. Early morning sunshine was followed by daily downpours! We became weather forecasters watching the clouds gather on top of the mountains, felt the temperature begin to drop and heard the telltale rumble of thunder off in the distance giving us ample warning to prepare for the inevitable.
And the 30 year facilities were a bit, well… I have since come to think that this too was part of the test to weed out those that were there for merely the pose… The pyramids or temple like structures we stayed in could be riddled with insects; during silence I scooped out a scorpion before going to bed and jokingly referred to it later as my silent scream! I learned that these local scorpions were not deadly, and the sting would merely feel like a bee sting. Whew… In the morning we were often greeted by muddy paw prints on the shower floors, a result of muddy paths becoming muddy streams… And more than a few times, the showers were cold… We grimaced and referred to it as the Wim Hof test!!
And a few of us suffered from that baseball hard feeling in the pit of our stomachs (that left after a day or two) which was the result of getting a few too many drops of local water in our system. And the occasional power outages were the icing on the cake! Those that could face the lack of creature comforts with grace and humor were given an experience - and a story that they would hold dear forever.
And there was wee bit of drama! A friend of mine from the US also attended the course and was bitten by a stray dog while walking on a path between two small villages. She flew to Miami to get a rabies shot that was unavailable anywhere in Guatemala. And then flew back to finish the course… We all had varying levels of trials and supported one another in taking time to reflect on the lessons presented by each one.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” The Little Prince
And another beautiful surprise unfolded. A book that influenced me while in high school and helped me understand the power of story telling and metaphor was “The Little Prince” by the French author Antoine de Saint- Expiréy. I learned that in 1938 the author crashed in Guatemala and was inspired during his convalescing in Antigua (which is a beautiful colonial town and has one active and one inactive volcano - just as in the story) and Lake Atitlan. When gazing across the lake at the three soaring volcanoes, at the foot of one lies an elevation that is called Cerro de Oro (Hill of Gold). In that mound you will clearly see the elephant being swallowed by a boa under a hat… Magical.
And for me, the most beautiful thing are the people and the community that is the result of coming together. I will never forgetting bonding with this tribe at a cacao and tobacco ceremony… My fellow classmates were astounding people from across the globe: Chili, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, UK and the US and teachers from Canada, Australia, Guatemala and the UK. We all left knowing that we will be forever connected and will call upon each other whenever we need to be reminded about how to return to what we learned. True gratitude…
It is hard to describe the last 30 days. Our daily meditations in the temple often resulted in things that can only be described as unbelievable, and yet I was able to experience and am now beginning to understand that through stillness, concentration, intention, trust and surrender - that the invisible become visible. Sounds mystical. It still feels pretty mystical and may be what the sages were talking about in many of the ancient texts.
“As above, so below; as below, so above.” The Kybalion
The journey continues…